Four people were taken to hospital with serious injuries after an explosion in central Gothenburg on Tuesday. Hundreds of residents have been evacuated. A police officer may have been the target.
The emergency services received the alarm a little before five o’clock on Tuesday morning. An explosion had triggered a fire in a block of flats in Annedal in Gothenburg.
At least 16 were taken to hospital. Four are seriously injured, says Ingrid Fredriksson at Sahlgrenska University Hospital to SVT.
Can be located
– At the moment we see no natural cause for the explosion. There is nothing natural that has exploded, says police spokesman, Christer Fuxborg, in Gothenburg.
The statement came during the Swedish police’s press conference near the explosion site in central Gothenburg. Fuxborg also answered yes to the question of whether the explosion could originate from something that is located on the site.
According to both Aftonbladet and Expressen, a policeman lives in the building. Both newspapers cite anonymous sources that the man has previously testified in several lawsuits against gangs in Sweden. The police will not comment on this, but say that they are working to find out if people in the building may have been a target.
The policeman himself has stated to Expressen:
– The police have begun their investigations, and then you will see where it lands. Of course, one will look at this track. I have submitted my statement now. By the way, everyone is set up as possible candidates, since you do not know who has been the target, the policeman says.
16 people injured
The fire service’s task leader, Martin Lindahl, did not want to speculate on the cause. By half past seven on Tuesday morning, the building had been evacuated. At 13 o’clock, the rescue service stated that the fire should be under control, just over eight hours after the explosion.
– Now it is more about looking at the constructions and checking the building to see how much damage the explosion has caused, says operations manager Jon Pile according to NTB.
The police task force leader at the scene says that four people are seriously injured. They are a man in his 50s and three women in their 60s, 70s and 80s. In addition, 12 people have come in with varying, but minor injuries. Among these is also a child at the age of ten.
Fired down with the sheets
A resident of the place says that several people came down from the apartment with the help of sheets.
– A lot of smoke has entered apartments, says Lars Jostelius from the rescue service to TT.
The evacuees gather in a church in the neighborhood. Several police officers are on their way there to collect witness statements. Lars Holmquist is one of the residents who was evacuated. He was awakened by shouts in the hallway and carried down the street by two firefighters.
– It was uncomfortable. Now, when I’ve been going here for four or five hours, the shock comes. What could happen if we burned inside, says Holmquist to SVT.
Police are investigating
The emergency services sent at least 17 units to the scene, 12 of them ambulances. The emergency services were notified of the incident at 04.48. The explosion caused a major fire. Both stairwells, garage and apartments were filled with smoke.
According to the police, an investigation has been initiated into so-called public destruction, and the extent of the damage is unclear.
Expressen’s reporter describes that the area is close to several university buildings, and also close to public transport and a busy shopping and restaurant area.